I am desperately trying to get my life back together. I’d been living on the streets as an addict. One day, the little kid came by and asked if I was hurt. When I said, “No,” he asked then why was I laying on the sidewalk. For some reason the shame that overcame me at that very moment was just the kick in the rear I needed. I contacted my sister who took me in and has been helping me get cleaned up. I’ve got a job and am on a methadone treatment program to make it easier for me to work while weaning off the methadone. My employer hired me but did tell me privately that if I wanted to get promoted, I would have to get my teeth tended to. He wasn’t being rude, my teeth are a wreck. I was actually surprised he hired me given my background and appearance. He gave me a job in the back, but if I want to interact with customers, I will need to improve my appearance. The problem I am having is the massive amount of painful work I need. I’d like to get it done, but not only is no one willing to give me sedation, they’re not even willing to give me post-operative pain medication. I have been up front with every one of them and told them about my recovery. I gave him the name and number of my clinic and written permission to speak to the clinic’s doctor and my counselor. I have pretty bad dental anxiety and whenever I have done treatment without sedation it was a horror story. Is there any way to get the treatment I need?
First, I want to say that you are to be congratulated for all the progress you have made and the steps you are continuing to take. You have much to be proud of. I am sorry for the trouble you have encountered in trying to get the treatment you need. I don’t think all of them are just judgmental. Especially recently, both dentists and medical doctors have lived in fear of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Every little activity is scrutinized and no one wants to do anything that could draw their attention. I know of two dentists that suffered greatly just because they were compassionate. It’s happening more and more. Unfortunatley, it is the patients in legitimate difficulties that suffer.
If you are persistent in your search, I am sure you will find a dentist whose compassion overrules their fear of the DEA. Start by calling dentists who advertise as sedation dentists. They tend to understand fearful patients more than most. Be upfront with them, as you have been thus far, and ask if they can help you with both sedaton and post-operative pain control. I think you will find someone who can help you.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.